Anywhere there is a seam on your roof, there can be roof leaks. Since any amount of leaking can lead to dangerous structural damage, you need to look into leak repair, and possibly even a new roof, as quickly as possible, even if the problem appears to be minor or contained.
Signs of a Leaking Roof
Left alone, small roof leaks can quickly turn into larger complications. To avoid the serious consequences of unchecked water damage, it's important to use your best detective skills when investigating your leaky roof. Unfortunately, the detection of roof leaks can be difficult, as water rarely drips straight down but looks for the path of least resistance.
While searching your roof for structural weaknesses, pay special attention to the flashing for any signs of damage, missing or cracked shingles, and any signs of an aging roof. If there are holes or cracks anywhere on your roof, you likely have leakage.
Inside your house, the most obvious sign of roof leaks is water stains on your ceiling, especially if they grow or darken after a rainstorm. Additional signs of a leak include sagging or soft ceilings, water spots in the attic, a musty smell, mold growth, or peeling paint.
To limit the extent and cost of the damage, take care of roof leak repair as quickly as possible. | @ Fotolia.com / Dieter Pregizer
Damage Caused by a Leaking Roof
Underestimating roof leaks is not only extremely costly, but is also extremely dangerous. Considering that water carved the Grand Canyon, it's important to protect your home from the destructive powers of water.
A leaking roof can cause toxic mold growth, which can severely compromise your health. In fact, roof leaks can rot the entire structure of your house, including the roof decking, insulation and drywall. In the worst case scenario, the water damage can cause roofs or ceilings to collapse.
The danger doesn't simply come from erosion, however. Roof leaks can also be a fire hazard, as water trickling into your home can touch wires located in your attic or ceiling, resulting in a combustion.
Additionally, a leaky roof can lead to insect and rodent infestations. All manner of animals can enter your roof if improperly sealed, leading to a variety of health problems and structural damage. Chewed wiring is particularly grave, as it presents yet another fire hazard.
Roof leaks encourage mold growth, which results in serious health problems. | @ Fotolia.com / Dieter Pregizer
Costs of a Leaking Roof
Estimating the cost of leak repair is very difficult, as the damage can run the gamut from simple crack repairs to installing new vents or flashing. In especially serious cases, you might need to replace your entire roof, decking, and insulation. On average, it costs about $2,500 for leak repair and water damage repair. However, depending on the extent of the water damage, the cost of leak repair can easily soar.
The good news is that most homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of leak repair and any accompanying water damage. However, if you ignore the problem, your insurance company can deny your leak repair claim, so reporting your problem quickly is important.
Leave Leak Repair to the Experts
It can be tempting to fix the problem yourself to save money, but both the detection of roof leaks and actual leak repair should only be completed by a qualified roofer. The consequences of amateur work are too expensive and dangerous to risk. This is especially true if you've ignored the problem for too long, as leak repair tends to get more complicated the longer it's put off. Overall, only a professional roofer should be entrusted with fixing water damage and installing a new roof, so be sure to check out our handy contractor database today.